If you are looking to have an action-filled vacation but don’t want to move around a lot, Jarabacoa  is a fantastic place to make a base camp. Many adventure activities are local, and you can get a lot of action packed into even a three- or four-day vacation. From Jarabacoa you can also book farther-away excursions with local tour companies who will provide transportation.
However, if you want to be more mobile, this part of the country is a bit more challenging to get around in via public transportation—it’s not impossible, just allow for more time spent waiting for buses and guaguas. Renting a car is a better idea, but a four-wheel-drive is highly recommended for the power needed to get over mountain passes and often rough and rugged terrain.
To hike Pico Duarte , consider going with a tour group. It will alleviate a lot of planning and logistic complications for you, especially if you don’t speak Spanish. But if you want to wing it on your own, decide ahead of time which route you’d like to take. That way, you know how many days of travel time and hike time you’ll need.
For instance, if flying into Santiago  (which is best for this area), you should have a day for getting from the airport to your base camp and settling in, booking your trek in the first day or two of arrival with an independent guide. It is best to give your guides a day or two for their own preparations and for yours (you’ll need to buy provisions). A minimum of three days should be saved for the actual hike (some can do it in two, but it’s best to be safe). After that you’ll need your travel time back to the airport.